Note: Rather than 2 chapters combined, it’s 3 chapters combined this time (295-297) so it will be split into three “parts”.
Translated by: Taffy
Edited by: Comfortabull
Chapter 295 – Duo Mei’s Decision Pt. 1
Suo Jia swept a glance over his three companions and stretched out a hand, gesturing for them to calm down. Seeing this, Nicole, Roger, and Xiang Yun simultaneously shut their mouths, doubtfully glancing at Suo Jia.
After some thought, Suo Jia said in a low voice, “We should first stop fighting over what status we will enter with. Right now, I would just like to know one thing: what is everyone’s reason for entering the Greater Trade Routes?”
Nicole resolutely replied, “Of course it’s to adventure. The Greater Trade Routes have many strange life forms, rare magical beasts, unique landscapes, and treasures left behind from ancient times. That’s why, I must enter as an adventurer!”
Suo Jia nodded, and shifted his gaze to Roger. Sensing Suo Jia’s gaze, Roger firmly replied, “I don’t think that. We aren’t going to the Greater Trade Routes to play around, but to become heroes that have successfully passed through! That’s why, I believe we should become mercenaries and protect merchant groups along the way. Like that, we’d naturally achieve our goal!”
As soon as Roger finished speaking, Xiang Yun spoke up, “Wrong, you’re gravely mistaken. Receiving a false reputation isn’t what we want. The reason we are entering the Greater Trade Routes is to constantly challenge ourselves, and surpass our limits. That’s why…we’ve come for the sake of challenging experts. Thus…I believe we need to enter as thieves. Only thieves can challenge others without end!”
Suo Jia smiled and nodded in response to their replied. “Very good, I understand all three of you. In that case, let me integrate all your goals together; in my opinion, the most suitable status to enter as would be as merchants!”
“What!” All three exclaimed and stared at Suo Jia in shock. In unison, they asked, “How is that possible! We’re warriors, how could we enter as merchants!”
Suo Jia calmly replied, “As merchants, we can do business on the Greater Trade Routes. However at the same time, we would also possess the benefits of the other statuses!”
Suo Jia looked at Nicole and said, “Didn’t you want to go adventuring? Didn’t you want to search for rare magical beasts and treasures left behind from ancient times? While shipping merchandise, can’t we go adventuring as well?”
Suo Jia turned his gaze towards Roger. “As for you, I don’t need to say anything else, right? Weren’t you the one that wanted to follow merchants? In that case, if we’re merchants, it’s equivalent to walking ourselves. There’s no difference.”
Finally, Suo Jia looked at Xiang Yun. “As for you, you wanted to challenge experts, which is something I agree with. However, didn’t you know? All the experts are amongst the thieves. In addition…rather than painstakingly going out to search for opponents, why not just take the easy way out and let the opponents personally present themselves to us instead?”
The expressions of Roger and Xiang Yun couldn’t help but light up. However, Nicole still wasn’t satisfied. She knit her brows and asked, “Although you say that, according to your words, can we not obtain all these benefits by entering with a different status?”
“No!” Suo Jia firmly shook his head and explained, “Take entering as thieves as an example. Although we would be able to do business on the Greater Trade Routes, once a thief group becomes renowned, who would be willing to do any business with them?”
“That…” Nicole stuttered. Indeed…merchants and thieves were sworn enemies. If one wanted to become a thief, then they couldn’t become a merchant.
Roger asked in confusion, “Boss, although I agree with your choice of becoming merchants, wouldn’t choosing mercenary be ok too? Isn’t it the same?”
“No!” Suo Jia shook his head again and said strongly, “The problem with mercenaries is that you must follow merchant groups. You don’t have the privilege of moving independently. That means even if your adventuring objective is nearby, we won’t have the time to go investigate it!”
Roger dropped his jaw in shock at Suo Jia’s explanation, and nodded furiously. He was right…if they became mercenaries, then they had to escort enough merchant groups to pass the checkpoints. They had no freedom to speak of.
After a long while of silence, Xiang Yun said in a low voice, “But Boss, according to what you said, thieves and merchants are mortal enemies. In that case, merchants also can’t become thieves!”
Suo Jia flatly replied, “If you just put away the flag and replace it with an emblem, you’ll immediately become a thief. Isn’t it a simple matter?”
“That’s…” Xiang Yun stuttered a bit before his eyes lit up. “In that case, isn’t it the same situation if we become thieves? If we just take down our thief emblem, wouldn’t we become merchants?”
Suo Jia bitterly chuckled and helplessly replied, “Friend, merchants pay particular attention to their credibility and fame. If you take down the emblem, you can hide your thief status. But let me ask you, who would do any business with a merchant group that lacks reputation or credibility?”
Nicole, Roger, and Xiang Yun all lowered their heads in thought. After long contemplation, they finally raised their heads to look at Suo Jia in admiration. Xiang Yun praised, “As expected, after thinking it through carefully, choosing to be merchants is the most perfect choice. Merchants can simultaneously possess the strengths of all the occupations, yet ignore their weaknesses. It’s really a perfect choice!”
Suo Jia nodded and declared, “Since everyone has agreed, I’ll just go ahead and choose merchants. You guys need to think it through carefully, once chosen, it cannot be changed again!”
The three nodded uniformly in response. Suo Jia picked up the pen and drew a check next to the merchant position. He then continued to read the rest of the form.
The following content was all along the lines of identification. After filling in the answers to some simple questions…Suo Jia finally handed it to the staff member, and received an amethyst certificate. This certificate was created from a complete amethyst crystal. There were many grooves on its surface. Every time a checkpoint was passed, they’d receive a special crystal which they’d embed into the groove. This proved that their group had already passed that specific checkpoint. Once all the grooves on the certificate were filled, it would mean that they had successfully passed through the Greater Trade Routes.
After the transaction procedure was completed, Suo Jia’s group didn’t directly enter the Greater Trade Routes. Instead, they prepared themselves and rested well for a few days. Once their bodies and minds had completely recovered, they would enter the Greater Trade Routes with an optimized state of mind and full energy.
During the next several days, the four of them spent every day training and relaxing their bodies and playing to their content. Everyone knew that once they entered the Greater Trade Routes, they wouldn’t be able experience moments of leisure like this.
Everyone else had gone out, but Suo Jia wasn’t in the mood to go play. After all, he had discovered in Loze City that many of the things there had been brought back from the Greater Trade Routes. Faced with so many treasures, how could Suo Jia remain indifferent to them?
However, Suo Jia had already used up all of his money in Amin City. With lack of better option, Suo Jia could only start up the furnace to create some potions and go auction them off again. That way, he could use the money from the auctions to buy these treasures from the Greater Trade Routes. What Suo Jia found a great pity was that the good items seemed to have all been bought off by others already. The remaining ones were all more common goods. Despite this, Suo Jia was still pretty happy. Things that were common on the Greater Trade Routes were already the same value as entire cities in Suo Jia’s eyes.
Suo Jia stayed inside for several days in a row, focusing entirely on using Zhiyao to produce potions. Within a single week, he’d managed to sell thousands of groups of potions for astronomical prices. Suo Jia used the money to purchase the materials that he thought were very valuable.
That wasn’t the end. The most exciting thing to Suo Jia was the auction’s selling of some of the currency used in the Greater Trade Routes. Although the price to buy it was unreasonably high, Suo Jia felt that any amount of money was worth it. As a merchant, the most important thing was to first accumulate capital. With this money, he would at least not have to worry about the funds needed to launch the business as soon as he entered the Greater Trade Routes.
After playing outside for a week, Nicole, Roger, and Xiang Yun finally rushed back. When they’d all heard that Suo Jia had managed to gather 10,000 Trade Route coins within that week, they all dropped their jaws open in shock. Xiang Yun suddenly realized that having Suo Jia as the leader was probably the most correct decision possible!
Loze City was a city located in the oasis of a desert. One needed to pass through Tagan Desert to reach their destination. Loze City was actually near the border area of Tagan Desert, less than 1000 kilometers away from the edge.
Very early in the morning, while the sun hadn’t yet risen, Suo Jia’s group left from the other side of Loze City under the cover of the night and continued to advance. They passed through the vast, over 10,000 kilometer area, the world’s largest and harshest place: Tagan Desert. This was considered as the Greater Trade Route’s first checkpoint: Desert of Death!